Law Blog

Can Sending an Emoji form a Contract?

Can Sending an Emoji form a Contract?

Contracts, E-Commerce, Negotiation
Can texting an emoji actually bind you to an enforceable contract? As a commercial seller of flax who sent a responsive emoji to a customer discovered in a Canadian court, the answer is Yes. Worse yet, his single "thumbs up" emoji ended up costing his firm nearly roughly (USD) $100,000. In this blog post, we take a look at the case that made the rounds on the news and social media and what lessons it may have for those of you who here south of the border in the U.S. who might be tempted to send that thumbs up to your business customers, partners, vendors and suppliers. The "Thumbs Up" Emoji Case In the case of South West Terminal Ltd. v. Achter Land, 2023 SKKB 116 (CanLII) (June 8, 2023),…
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Is a Copycat Site Hijacking Your Brand??

Is a Copycat Site Hijacking Your Brand??

Trademark, Trademark Infringement, UDRP
So you have a successful brand and online store but have learned that there's a website, or perhaps even an Amazon storefront, utilizing your exact brand, right down to the spelling and even your logo! This copycat site is threatening to trade off of your name to divert traffic and potential sales away from you through selling similar or inferior quality products and potentially harm your brand altogether. What if there was a way you could not only shut down the offending site, but also have it cancelled or, better yet, transferred to you, all without having to go to or incur the expense of a lawsuit in Federal court–and in a fraction of the time to boot? When Someone Imitates Your Brand This very scenario happened earlier this year…
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Why You Should Form Your LLC or Incorporate a New Business BEFORE 2024!

Why You Should Form Your LLC or Incorporate a New Business BEFORE 2024!

Business Formation, Corporations, Limited Liability Company
Are you considering starting a new business or forming a new LLC or incorporating in the near future? If so, you should really consider getting it done before the end of 2023. The Federal Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) is here, and it carries both civil and even criminal penalties for non-compliance. https://youtu.be/o4X8gYOCYdI Introduction, Caveat Stuff In this article, I’m going to give you a super high-altitude overview of the CTA and why I think it’s important to at least consider forming your new business, corporation, LLC or other legal entity as soon as possible before January 1, 2024. As always, this article is strictly for entertainment and educational purposes only and is NOT legal advice. Always consult with your own lawyer to discuss your given facts and legal situation. This…
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Taco Truck Beef Serves Up Tasty Legal Lessons to Business Owners

Taco Truck Beef Serves Up Tasty Legal Lessons to Business Owners

Business Formation, Trade Names, Trademark
Like so many of us who live in the desert Southwest, I loves me some tacos. We are definitely blessed to have some of the best in the nation. However, a business that recently contacted me from, let’s just say Tucson, highlights the importance of small businesses taking their legal structure and brand name seriously. Failure to do so could set your business up for a serious case of indigestion, legally speaking. Background The business in question was a local restaurant that also operated a popular taco truck, which we'll call "XYZ Killer Tacos". When I asked the owner what kind of legal structure he was operating the business through, his answer was sole proprietor. Ugh. Sole proprietor. In the business of serving food. To the public. (yikes) Nonetheless, his…
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Can I Legally Use The Image of a Famous Person (Who’s Dead)?

Can I Legally Use The Image of a Famous Person (Who’s Dead)?

Entertainment, Lanham Act, Name, Image, Likeness, Trademark
Every so often, I'm asked by clients and prospective clients alike whether or not it's permissible for them to use the name, image, or likeness ("NIL") of a celebrity or famous person who now happens to be deceased. This question was asked of me the other day by clients who wanted to put the face of, oh, let's just say, Che Guevara, on an article of clothing with some meme-worthy text. Delightful, right? I mean, what's the big deal; he's not going to complain, right? The Right of Publicity Unfortunately, while the famed Marxist revolutionary might not be around to complain, his estate or heirs likely are. There is a thing in the law known as a person's right of publicity, which basically deals with one's right to monetize or…
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